Word of author's Brian Doyle's death circulated this weekend. I and my family love Brian Doyle. When I announced his death to my family all of us mourned. His writing impacted every one of us from the way I include stories in my sermons, to great words he had for my lovely bride he signed in Grace Notes, to the stories I tell my kids at night (all rules are off), even to the way I talk to my dog (as a more cognizant animal).
I saw him once a couple years back in Chicago; it was great. He shared the most unusual writing prompts: describe the first time you kissed someone, when was the last time you hit someone, describe your favorite flower, tell me about the great sin you committed. Oh those are some great prompts...
Doyle wrote this poem for the memory of Henri Nouwen, I offer it for Doyle as well.
Poem for Henri Nouwen by Brian Doyle in Epiphanies & Elegies
The way he leaped up suddenly from the table
To make a point with the whole wild exclamation
Point of his body and the day his arm swirled
And swung and whirled and dance cheerfully
Around his cheerful face as he spoke and the way
As soon as he sat down he leapt up again to agree
Utterly and wholly from the bone of his being
With what you said rather than find the certain
Hole in what you said but then leaping off rom
What you said he would say something so new &
True and clear and refreshing and you wished you
Carried a notebook just for Henri but pausing to
Keep track of the swoop and zest of his thought
Would ruin the whole joy and verve of the thing
Which was a thing never before in the world and
Never again which was the sort of thing that gave
Henri a bubbling childish brilliant genius holy joy
Which was pretty much the point of Henri,
And what we miss most.
Brian Doyle, rest eternal. thanks for catching (nutritious) stories and sharing them with us...